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ND Women’s Golf

Irish women’s golf overcomes injuries, takes major strides forward

| Friday, May 19, 2023

In some ways, Notre Dame women’s golf entered the 2022-23 season full of uncertainty. After the retirement of longtime head coach Susan Holt, the team ushered in a new coaching staff led by first-year head coach Caroline Powers Ellis.

However, the Irish brought back a strong group of returners who were eager to build on their results from the previous year. Since the upperclassmen were willing to adapt to the styles of their new coaches, the team coalesced quickly.

“We were very lucky that the players really embraced us as a new staff,” Powers Ellis said after the season. “We were very thankful for the players’ open minds and their willingness to try different things and to listen to new coaches that, before August, they didn’t know at all.”

The Irish started the season strong, placing in the top five of their first three competitions. However, injuries to junior Chloe Schiavone and senior Madelyn Jones meant that the team played through the remainder of the fall with just four players.

Luckily, the rest of the team stepped up in their absence and the Irish were able to fully regain their rhythm in the spring.

“I thought our players dealt with [the injuries] really well at the end of the fall,” Powers Ellis said. “But it was definitely nice to have those players back in the spring, and I think it just helped elevate the entire team back up to feeling like, ‘We’ve got people, we’re healthy, we’re excited, we’re working hard. We’re ready to just keep pushing.’”

Buoyed by their reenergized mentality, Notre Dame began the spring with a fifth-place finish at the Columbia Classic in February. Schiavone and sophomore Montgomery Ferreira led the way, finishing in a tie for sixth place individually.

Over the following weeks, the Irish faced off against a consistently high level of competition in preparation for the postseason. They concluded their regular season in April at the Chattanooga Classic, highlighted by an impressive third-place finish from senior Lauren Beaudreau. Her standout effort propelled the Irish to fifth place in the 18-team field.

Riding the momentum of their strong performance in Chattanooga, Notre Dame trekked to Greensboro, North Carolina, for the ACC Championship. After finishing in last place the previous year, the Irish showed improvement, tying for ninth place in the ACC.

“We were seeded 10th going into it,” Powers Ellis said. “I think anytime you beat your seed, you’re doing pretty well.”

Ferreira led the Irish, closing out the season with the same prowess that she began it in September.

“We were really excited for [Ferreira],” Powers Ellis said. “She started off the [season] with a win at the Badger Invitational, and to finish tied for 12th in our conference, an extremely difficult conference, that was so awesome for her to see that she’s capable of that.”

The Irish also saw strong efforts from Beaudreau and Schiavone. They tied for 24th and 30th, respectively. The Irish will lose three graduating players over the offseason. But the trio of Beaudreau, Schiavone and Ferreira will return and should help a talented freshman class grow. After exceeding expectations, this season, they will aim higher when they return to action in the fall.

“When you look back, you always feel like you wanted to do more,” Powers Ellis said. “But then also thinking about how far you’ve come, I think it was a good year and we definitely made a lot of progress and [have] things to build on for the future.”

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